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Live: Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers


Justin Ballis

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Brad Haddin: "The shining light was the way young Hughes played but we have a lot of work to do. He performed tonight under pressure, in front of 20,000, and that shows he's got a bit about him." On Smith's injury, he added: "It got him in the love handles."

"He played a magnificent game," Chris Gayle says of Usman Khawaja as he eyes off the interviewer. "Are you coming, too" he asks her. Ah well, win some, lose some.

Lee crouches low to face Coyte and gets contact but only for a single. He misses the next, and smashes the following but again only for a one. Lots of men on the boundary but a pull shot, baseball style, gives Lee a four and levels the score. Lee top-edges off a wild swing and the ball flies behind the keeper for the last boundary of the match. Sixers win by four wickets.

Lee faces Nannes and a driven single puts Hughes back on strike. Wide and Nannes has to do it over. Gayle misfields a ball that bobbled away off a good-length delivery. Last ball: Hughes lashes at the ball, spooning it up to Coyte, who puts down a sitter! Ouch. That's also 50 to Hughes. That could cost the Thunder the match. Sixers 6-124 with two to bowl.

Nannes needs a maiden here. Hughes advances and grabs a single down the ground. That brings O'Keefe on to strike, and Nannes will want to keep him at the striker's end. Bowled! Even better. O'Keefe moved across to leg and Nannes followed him; he plays on and the bails do their gimmicky strobing thing.

Steve Smith takes his spot in the Sixers' dugout with an icepack strapped to his ribs. Just in time to see his side finish off this match. Hughes now 34 off 28. Again he lives dangerously, shanking the ball and risking a quick single. Tremain gives Hughes a short one and he pulls it through midwicket for four. Punched into the gap. Tremain offered Hughes his thoughts - some lip - and in return he cross-bats the next one for six. Unconvincing but they all count. Sixers 5-117 off 18 with 16 to get.

Daniel Hughes, who has been kept down the other end while wickets fell, lofts Abbott over the deep midwicket boundary. Then a top edge flies a long way and lands just short of the man in the deep. Hughes again goes for the grand, brutish statement only to land short of mid-on. Three mis-hits in this over. Bang. He clips this one back over the bowler's head for a maximum. That was closer to the middle of the bat. Fourteen off the over. 5-103 after 16.

Gayle finishes the over for flattering figures of 2-17, including 15 dot balls. Who would have thought Chris Gayle would keep his side in the match with his bowling not his thunderous hitting? Sixers 5-89 off 15.

Gayle to Henriques, and he gets a streaky boundary. Wicket! Quicker arm ball fools Henriques, who edges it off his pad and on to the stumps. Getting interesting.

Nannes is back and Smith again with the HUGE haymaker of a swing and miss. Doesn't miss the next one though. He lofts it over mid-off for the full reward. Smith backs away and tries to slog-cut the ball but finds the edge and a catch to Prior. Smith was taking all sorts of risks and departs the arena looking out of sorts. Nannes has now taken the most wickets in the comp. Not bad for an old bloke in the bottom-placed team. Sixers 4-85 off 14. 

Tremain just misses the off stump when Steve Smith goes for a huge swing. Air swing as it turns out. He launches himself at the next one too, two strides down the track, but Rogers saves the four. Run rate is up to over eight and it's been 23 balls since the last boundary. Smith gets a couple through the leg side. Coyte has run-out chance but misses with the thow and collects Smith, who looks sick indeed. Great pick-up by Coyte. Pity for Smith - maybe hit in the kidney. Physio is out. 3-76 off 13.

Gayle, flush with his recent success and having got under the skin of Brad Haddin, is back. The fidgety Steve Smith is facing to the background strains of the banana boat song - day-oo - and the Munsters theme music. Who can pay attention? It's 3-71 off 12.

Coyte and Steve Smith duke it out the next over, but it's a more sedate affair. Only three off the over. Sixers 3-67 after 11

"He's been all talk so far and they haven't won a game," Haddin returns the favour to Gayle on the boundary rope after his dismissal, referring to the subject of their banter. And he's serious. Haddin urged Gayle "to do something for the Thunder fans".

Interesting time to bring back Chris Gayle. Haddin flicks a slow ball going down leg for two and then looks for a wide call. Gayle puts the next two in the same spot, very wide of off stump. Perhaps trying to bait Haddin. It succeeds! Haddin buys in, gets the ball on the toe of the bat and holes out to Keen. 3-64 off 10


Scott Coyte runs in looking to keep it tight for the Thunder. A yorker beats Haddin all ends up but then the former Australian keeper crunches the next attempted yorker right back at him. It screams down the ground for four. Sixers 2-61 off nine.

The 20-year-old Zampa shouts for leg-before with the wrong-un but just pitches outside against Hughes. Nice recovery after being belted by Haddin. Sixers 2-55 off eight.

Adam Zampa into the attack and Haddin strides down the crease and gets right under the ball for a down-the-ground elegant slog.

Daniel Hughes gets some width off Abbott and gives it the treatment. Four. Another short and wide one from Abbott invites Hughes to repeat the dose. Four. Good clean hits. He drives another one that is pulled in just short of the long boundary. An overthrow gives the Sixers 12 off the over. Sixers 2-46 after seven overs.

Haddin gets some advice from Gayle as he walks to the pitch. He's no under serious pressure to up the ante for the Sixers. Nonetheless, he cross-bats it towards the boundary for two and generally looks his busy, shuffling self. Sixers 2-35 off six.

Sixers 2-30 off five overs.

Crack. Lumb picks up a slower ball from Tremain and clubs it for six. Goes again for the big shot through the legside but picks out  Sean Abbott in the deep. He middled that but Abbott judged the catch well considering the velocity. Lumb gone for 20.

Nannes with a no-ball but Sixers can't take advantage of the free hit. Cramps up Maddinson, who scampers down the other end. Nannes hesitated just slightly and that allowed Lumb to make it home as the bolwer attempted the run-out. They need luck here, the Thunder. And they get it! Maddinson tries to run the ball down to third man but only succeeds in edging the catch to Gayle at slip. Into the breadbastket - albeit Gayle looked mighty relieved to claim the wicket.

Chris Tremain on with his right-arm fast mediums. Lumb can't penetrate the in-field at first but then abansons that tactic altogether. He hits the ball sweetly, with absolutley perfect timing, back over the bowler's head. The strike had the resounding crack of a ball hit by a Gilchrist or Hayden. It went 86 metres. Sixers 0-18 off three.

Nic Maddinson and Micahel Lumb to open the innings, and Brad Haddin to come in at No.3. Gayle, surprisingly, to open the bowling. Strange tactics with such a small total to defend. High, slow and wide from Gayle first up and Maddinson lofts it for two. Bang. Two balls later, he just leans back and belts it down the pitch for four. Sixers 0-6 off one.

Nannes gets a play-and-miss from Lumb as a matter of introduction. Possesses an economy rate of just over 6, does Nannes, but Lumb pays that no respect as he drives through cover for four. Attractive-looking shot in this age of flips and ramps, and awkward innovation. But Nannes maintains his ratio in the end. Sixers 0-11 off two.

Thunder took 57 runs off the last five overs and 13 off the last over. Khawaja reveals it's a tricky pitch.  "It's very slow early on when you bat first," he says of the two-paced wicket, while complimenting Coyte for his batting bravado. A modest target perhaps but better than what the Thunder appeared capable of at the halfway stage.

Last over being bowled by Lee. Coyte has no idea against a bouncer that's not noted by the umpire. He can bowl another if he likes. A single gets Khawaja on to stike, and he pulls another short one behind square for four. Classic stroke. He leans back and smahes a full toss through cover. Khawaja pulls the last one off leg stump for his third four in a row. Thunder finish with 6-132.


After a streaky four, Keen give his shoulder the full flourish and goes after Narine. he just clears the rope.

Khawaja backs right away and exposes his stumps as he attempts to flip Lee over the keeper's head. Next one he bashes with the full face of the bat through midwicket to the rope. Lee slows the ball right down for the last and surprises Khawaja. Thunder 5-94 off 17.

Henriques with the short slower ball, but Khawaja has much better luck picking this one, flipping it over Haddin and down to the fine leg boundary. Another one! Cover drive beats Brett Lee for four. He feels for next one wide outside off stump and steals a single off the last. Thunder 5-86 off 16.

Narine bowling a tidy over this time, fuller and cramping Khawaja, who can't quite pick the West Indian. Just three off the over. Thunder 5-75 off 15.

Simon Keen swings Henriques  on to the leg side and just evades Lee; then he heaves the ball to deep midwicket for two. Thunder 5-72 off 14.


Khawaja takes full toll of a Henriques slower ball,  pulling it to deep square leg for four.

Khawaja cops the ball in the face off a quicker one from Narine. Attempted reverse sweep. No ball and then a free hit... Khawaja takes a lash at the short ball but gets only a single. Thunder 5-63 off 13

Sunil Narine, resplendent in a thick gold chain, on for the Sixers with his off-breaks. He's wicketless so far in this competition. No bang for his bling. Khawaja tries to flay the ball in between a few singles and misses. Thunder 4-52 off 11.

Oh dear. Carters on his knees attempting an overhead shot - some kind of vertical paddle - to clear the keeper against Feldman. He misses. A top edge follows for a single and Khawaja rides his luck with a back-foot slog that lands precisely in the middle of three onrushing fielders. Finally, Khawaja helps a short ball around the corner for a four off Feldman's last delivery. Thunder 4-47 at the halfway point.

Lalor's slower ball has Carters all at sea. A Khawaja top-edge only just clears backward square. Nothing much more doing here for the Thunder; they are 4-38 after nine.

Carters defends off Feldman but Khawaja sends him back. He scrambles back to make his ground as Feldman attempts a run-out. Messy. Khawaja makes amends somewhat with a rare boundary, coming down the pitch to a slower ball and belting it back over Feldman's head. And then a handsome full-blooded stroke for no return. Thunder 4-33 off eight.

Laylor beats the edge of Ryan Carters. All pressure on Khawaja now to salve something from this innings. Carters takes a single to end the over. Thunder 4-28 after seven overs.

Thunder 3-27 after six overs. That's a poor return from the Power Play. Well, that's an undertsatement.

Matt Prior scores a wristy boundary off O'Keefe and then gives himself room for another hoik. No run. Down the wicket again and he holes out to Feldman at mid-off. Didn't middle that one and maybe the Englishman was not measured enough with his aggression. Got out in the same manner against Brisbane.

Usman Khawaja takes strike and edges his second one for four. Thunder 2-22 after five overs.

Laylor delivers the perfect yorker to Gayle, who plays over the top of it, and bends back the stumps. Beaten for pace.

Laylor back on and Gayle facing. Big shout from Haddin after Gayle takes a swipe at a short one from Laylor but fails to make contact. Het gets some on the next, but as befittiing his middling form, only just clears wide mid-on.

Feldman finishes the over with a tight delivery. Thunder 1-16 after four with Rogers out for seven.

Rogers out after moving right across his stumps to help the ball around the corner to the boundary. In effect he gets an edge and Haddin helps himself to a caught-behind.

Rogers advances to the bowling of Luke Feldman but misses it down leg. He pulls the next one into the deep. Laylor saves two runs riding the boundary. The umpires have another look to see if his boot hit the rope while handling the ball. It did. Four runs.

Lee fires in a short one at Gayle to finish the over and no score added. Thunder 0-12 after three overs.

Lee steams in and Rogers cuts the ball through point to the man on the boundary for one. He beats Gayle for pace with the next though the West Indian was content to withdraw his bat. Gayle backs off to give himself room but can only swat the ball to the onside, trying to get through cover, for another single.

Bang. Gayle clubs the slower ball over mid wicket and over the rope. Thunder 0-11 after two.

Bails were dislodged but seemed to come back down into place. Rogers was short but not enough pace on the ball to spill them on to the ground. They lighted up, however. Gayle takes a few paces down the wicket and completely misses Laylor's next ball.

Gayle smashes one down the pitch and onto the stumps after a touch from Lalor. Decision pending.

Brett Lee opens the bowling to the master blaster; he gifts the Thunder their first run with a wide. Good pace and carry though. Gayle typically looks languid and unhurried first up. He defends the second one from Lee and then edges a quick one to third man. Rogers nearly plays on to leg stump and misses what should have been a quick single. Looking for more bounce on a two-paced pitch than what arrived. Thunder 0-3 after the first over .

Chris Rogers to join fellow left-hander Gayle at the top of the order. The West Indian has averaged just 14 at ANZ Stadium. Matt Prior walked off after the moment's silence all padded up, ready to enter the fray with bat blazing as he he did against Brisbane.

Both teams lined up for a a minute's silence for the passing of Tony Greig.

Nic Maddinson, back from injury, poised to open the innings for the Sixers. "We probably didn't blaze away at the competition last year either," he says by way of encouragement for his team's hopes of making the semis. However, the Thunder have won the toss and will bat. Chris Gayle coming up...

The Big Bash table makes for grim reading for Sydney fans of either persuasion. The Thunder are rooted to the bottom and the Sixers’ sole victory, a seven-wicket canter, was recorded in the opening round against the men in electric green, nominally from Sydney’s west. It’s a poor return for the Sixers, defending champs whose title chances goes on the line tonight. This is the opening match of the sixth round with only two more to play. Another loss and their semi-final chances are gone.

The Thunder return to ANZ Stadium tonight, the venue of their 10th straight loss in the league on Friday. Despite starts to both Usman Khawaja and Chris Gayle, and some lusty hitting from English import Matt Prior, just off the plane, the Thunder could only post 126 against the Brisbane Heat. Dirk Nannes aside, the Heat easily dealt with the Thunder’s bowling and made the target with more than three overs to spare. From a marketing perspective, Sydney’s contribution to the Big Bash has been a damp squib. Fans trekking out to the cavernous arena at Homebush will expect more bang for their buck then glow-in-the-dark bails. Time to deliver.